Where bright
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London Graduates

The environment and contributing to a more sustainable world are important to how we advise our clients and manage our business.

It has never been more important to be conscious about the way we live and work and the impact our decisions have on our environment. Over the last seven years, we have been steadily implementing changes to our own graduate recruitment processes to minimise our carbon footprint. We are now taking a leading role in encouraging other graduate recruiters to consider the environmental impact of their attraction and recruitment strategies.

We are proud to be founding partners of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance. An alliance designed to encourage recruiters from all industries to review their own processes and think about the ways they can modify their existing practices to become more sustainable and carbon-friendly.

You can find out more about the aims of objectives of the alliance here.

Sustainable Recruitment Alliance

The Sustainable Recruitment Alliance is an initiative that we hope will encourage graduate recruiters to consider taking a greener, more sustainable approach to their recruitment activities and processes. This video details our journey to becoming founding partners of the pledge and how collectively we could make a significant impact on the environment. Review, reduce, report.

The Seven-year Ditch: our story

Like most graduate recruiters, we go through the yearly ritual of carefully curating an artillery of branded merchandise to deploy primarily over the course of our recruiting season, because we have always considered this to be a vital, unequivocal aspect of our branding on campus.

In 2013/14 we were producing over 10,000 glossy brochures a year, buying the same number of pens, pads of paper, and countless other items such as mugs, umbrellas, oyster card holders, water bottles and a myriad of branded artefacts. As each milk round season approached, these items would be loaded on to the back of our logistics vans and sent off on their four-month tour of the UK. However, every time we would leave a law fair, without fail the floors would be littered with discarded merchandise and the bins would be overflowing with brochures and leaflets that were no longer wanted – they were headed for landfill.

We began to reflect on, how much influence does our branded merchandise really have over a candidates' decision to engage with us? How could we justify the duplication in the leaflets and flyers we were producing for fairs and the content that was already available via our website? Did we have a responsibility to come up with a greener, cleaner approach?

By 2015/16 we had switched from producing glossy brochures to a printed one-page leaflet which had our key offerings clearly displayed. We included lots of signposting to our website and even took iPads (when these were shiny and new!) with us from where people could view our videos and engage with our materials.

But what was the environmental impact of these changes? We commissioned a report by Greenstone, an award-winning sustainability reporting organisation, to take an in-depth look at exactly that. It revealed that by taking the simple decision to scrap our brochures we saved a total of 5.7 tonnes of paper and avoided an additional 8.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions being emitted.

This is the equivalent to planting 141 trees or charging 1,084,024 mobiles.

Over the next few seasons we continued to make significant changes to where and when we were distributing merchandise.

Greenstone reported that between 2017/18 and 2019/20 due to purchasing decisions there was a reduction of an additional 3.6 tonnes of CO2, which equates to planting 59 trees or put another way, flying from London to Madrid 33 times.

By 2019/20 we had done away entirely with printing flyers and instead we were creating bookmarks printed on recycled paper. But we didn’t just stop at reviewing our merchandise. 

We started to look at our graduate events in more forensic detail including student and Firm representative's travel choices, introducing meat free catering during our schemes and initiatives and investing in our virtual engagement platforms.

As a result of implementing these additional changes, we achieved a further reduction in emissions of 9% from 2013/14 to 2019/20. This is a total of 6 tonnes of CO2, which equates to flying from London to New York 13 times. We realise that there is still a lot more to do but we're proud of the progress we’ve made. 

Our campaign moving forward looks and feels like something completely different to 2013. We have gone from ordering a variety of items in their thousands to investing in just two products. Products where we've scrutinised the supply chain, that come from European manufacturers and have genuinely sustainable credentials.

Our new pens are manufactured from renewable raw materials made using green energy, which is powered by hydro-electric power. 100% of their production waste is either reused or recycled. 

Our new notepads are made exclusively with recycled raw materials using production processes with little environmental impact. The covers are made from 100% recycled leather fibres and the papers are made in FSC certified paper, which is derived from responsible forestry.

These changes have never been more important to introduce than now. We all need to take action and responsibility and as such, we are proud to be founding partners of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance. 

Review, reduce, report.

Responsible Business

Our commitment to change doesn't just stop at graduate recruitment. As part of the wider Firms' efforts, we aim to provide an environmentally efficient service, by embracing systems and initiatives that support better use of energy and resources and reduce CO2 emissions. We regularly advise clients on environmental matters and support our people in undertaking pro bono work that helps strengthen their capabilities in this area of law. 

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Making a global, humanitarian difference

"Everyone, everywhere, has a fundamental human right to live in a healthy environment."

In one of our most extensive pro-bono projects to date, we were involved in conducting a global survey to determine which of the 193 UN Member States recognise the human right to a healthy environment at either the national or sub-national level under domestic law.

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Thought leadership

The profile of corporate sustainability has been growing steadily and the pressure on businesses is increasing.

Climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy are top of the political agenda. Governments and regulators are responding to the need to mobilise green, climate smart, environmentally friendly financing. These issues present a range of challenges for businesses and innovation and technology are key to success in the future. Read our Thought Leadership insights on Climate Change to understand how we are helping clients to future-proof their businesses and identify risks and opportunities.

Find out more